Botanicals - Bark

Some years ago I started casting bark into jewelry pieces, mostly bracelets.  This bracelet was the first of those. It's to this date the only bracelet I was totally happy about the outcome.

Since then I tried a few more, but often the castings did not come out right. The issue seems to be to find just the right  thickness and density of the bark that will not get eaten up by the investment during casting and allows the hot metal to completely fill in the form. During the casting process a plaster type mix is used to create a negative hollow form of the bark piece. Bark is very porous and I believe the investment (plaster) enters into these pores and clogs the path of the hot metal. If the bark is to thick, the bracelet will be to heavy to wear and cost way to much.
Anyways, one that actually cast right was this bracelet.

The texture and details came out nice. But the bracelet is very big (7cm diameter) and does not sit well on a wrist. I probably need to modify it a bit by cutting it open at the overlapping seam and make it a bit smaller.  

The bark that I use for these comes from an Eucalyptus tree. After a good rain storm I can  find pieces of bark that fell of the trees in my neighborhood like this one.  If they are still wet from the rain I form them immediately into bracelet shapes and let them dry. 
I have a fill box of those dried pieces around that are just waiting to get cast.

Box of bark pieces, twigs, leaves, seeds and other organic goodies. 

Unfortunatly the rising cost of silver put a bit of a stop into the bracelet casting. There is so much metal in one of these bracelets that I just can't afford to play around too much. But eventually I will give it a try again in the future. Maybe I try some bark rings instead.

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